Through the past couple of months, we here have started
to make a trend of covering not only games from the
United States, but from other countries. This shouldn't
be too much of a surprise, since we could not have had
either the prime time game show revolution or the
reality show revolution without Michael Davies or Mark
Burnett, but I'm not sure if people realize how much of
an impact that foreign game shows have had long before
the late 1990's/early 2000's - or the game show gems
that have barely made a blip yet or have yet to his
Hence, the assignment that I took on for this week was
to create a game show schedule with ONLY foreign based
shows. These are either shows that have a home base
that's not in America, aired originally somewhere that
isn't America, or shows that are not prepared for an
English-speaking American audience in mind. To make it
more interesting, I am going to program all seven days
of the week. Some of these shows will be very familiar
to you, some of these shows may surprise you that they
aren't from (or originated in) the U.S., and other ones
you would have never heard of, because they haven't hit
here - but they should. And no, I am not going to take
the easy way out and schedule infomercials in the
morning. Without further ado...
GFGSN! (Gordon's Foreign Game Show Network)
6:00 am - 6:30 am - The Mad Dash (Canada) - Video
Village, anyone? This small variation of it featured one
person of a two person team rolling dice and the other
person walking across a game board.
6:30 - 7:00 am - Talk About (Canada) - This is a
very underrated show hosted by Wayne Cox, which features
one team trying to eliminate items describing an object,
and another team trying to figure out what the object is
from the items remaining.
7:00 am - 8:00 am - Llevatelo (Mexico) - This was
one of my favorite games growing up, watching the late
Paco Stanley and his assistant Gabriella Reece attempt
to give money and cars away to people by doing silly
stunts. Think Beat the Clock combined with The Price is
9:00 am - 9:30 am - 15 To 1 (UK) - Fifteen people
each have three life bars. You get a question wrong, you
lose a life bar. Three wrong answers and you're out.
Last man standing wins.
9:30 am - 10:00 am - Temptation (Australia) -
Though it was remade in 2005, This is the original Sale
of the Century, which came from Australia to the US,
courtesy of Reg Grundy Productions
10:00 am - 10:30 am - Wheel of Fortune (Australia)
- Now you may ask what this is doing here, but Australia
actually aired a version of Wheel before us - 1959, to
be exact, long before the U.S. incarnation showed up in
10:30 am - 11 am - Drück Dein Glück (Germany) -
This is the German Version of Press Your Luck. There are
no Whammys here - just Hans the money shark, who will
eat your money if you land on him. And if you hit the
car, the game is automatically over and you win! There
will be a Mexican version of Press your Luck in 2006, so
watch for it in 4 months or so.
11 am - 12 pm - Bruce's Price is Right (UK) - It
just couldn't be a game show station without some form
of The Price is Right on it. In this case, we'll take
Bruce's Version from England.
12pm - 12:30 pm - Bumper Stumpers (Canada) - This
is a fun little game where you had to decipher verbal
rebuses on license plates. My license plate could read
h8sasi9tv (Hates Asinine TV)
12:30 pm - 1pm - Pitfall (Canada) - Can you get
across the eight squared ledge in 60 seconds without
falling in a Pitfall? Alex Trebek (who hosted the show)
1pm - 2pm - Trato Hecho (USA) - This version of
Let's Make a Deal is a faithful replication of the
original version, with Chascos instead of Zonks. Before
everyone writes in saying that the show is taped in the
U.S. (L.A., to be exact), let me point out that the show
is geared towards the Latin American audiences, so
that's why it's on the list. Besides, Guillermo Huesca
is the man.
2pm - 2:30pm - Everybody's Equal (UK) - The
audience is filled with
people. People are eliminated with a wrong answer until
1 person is left.
2:30 - 3pm - 1 Vs. 100 (Netherlands) - 1 person
is competing against 100 people in the audience. The
objective is to win $100,000 by eliminating the entire
audience by correctly answering questions in different
categories. Any incorrect answer by the one person,
however, eliminates him, and a random person from the
people left In the game becomes the new person.
3pm - 3:30 pm - Jackpot! (Canada) - It started in
the United States, but it was in Canada where the 16
people, King of the Mountain format got legs and lasted
a number of years.
3:30 pm - 4pm - Chain Reaction (Canada) - Like
Jackpot!, Chain Reaction had a quick lifespan in
America, but lasted in Canada for more than 5 years,
thanks to Geoff Edwards.
4pm - 4:30 pm - Definition (Canada) - This word
game combines the use of puns and hangman with a twist,
as you can only control the puzzle by giving a letter
that's not in the puzzle. It plays much better than it
4:30 pm - 5 pm - Countdown (UK) - The granddaddy
of all word and math puzzle shows. Richard Whitley made
this game of counting words and solving math equations a
5 pm - 5:30 pm - Lingo (The Netherlands) - It's
not just letters, it's Lingo! It's also a classic in the
Netherlands, which is how it got reintroduced to the
5:30 pm - 6:00 pm - Liar! (UK) - It's To Tell The
Truth Deluxe, as 6 People all claim to be a profession
or to have a story. The audience whittles them down
until one person is left.
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm - Whose Line is it Anyway? (UK)
- So they made a U.S. Version. Big deal. Nothing beats
Clive Anderson, Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Tony
Slattery and Mike McShane. Nothing.
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm - 100 Mexicanos Dijeron (Mexico)
- If I didn't have the Spanish version of Family Feud
somewhere on here, Jason Hernandez would give me a
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Guerra De Los Sexos (Mexico)
- Are the men or women better? Both teams go through a
variety of stunts to find out.
9:00 pm - 10:00 pm - Fear Factor (Netherlands) -
Did you know that more than 20 countries have their own
version of Fear Factor? I love this show.
10pm - 11pm - Fort Boyard (France) - Keeping the
adventure theme, a team competes to get 4 keys to unlock
prizes. Of course, the stunts aren't Fear Factor
caliber, but they are still good.
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Pop Idol (UK) - Before
American Idol, there was...Pop Idol.
9:00 pm - 10:00 pm - Big Brother (The Netherlands)
- Before Big Brother, there was...Big Brother, where the
audiences of every other country vote out who they don't
want. We tried that on season one, and...let's say that
it didn't work out too well.
10:00 pm - 11:00 pm - Deal or No Deal (Australia)
- One of 26 briefcases has $2 Million. The objective is
to guess low monetary suitcases to increase the buyout
total. If I don't put in this game, Alex Davis would
give me a severe beatdown.
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Pop Idol (UK) - You have to
have a results show, of
9:00 pm - 10:00 pm - Millionaire (UK) - I assume
you all know that this show started in the UK with Chris
Tarrant as the host. If you didn't know that - now you
10:00 pm - 11:00 pm -
Ultra Quiz (Japan) - What other show do you take
5,000 contestants around the world - and leave people
stranded in areas (or have them face penalties) for
incorrect answers? I'm waiting for them to do something
like this in the U.S.
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Big Brother (The Netherlands)
- Eviction night!
9:00 pm - 10:00 pm - Expedition: Robinson (Sweden)
- This show has 16 people on an island, where they build
a civilization and vote themselves off. The show comes
into America under the name of Survivor.
10:00 pm - 11:00 pm - The Mole (Belgium) - 12
people attempt to do tasks to put money in a bank - and
one person attempts to sabotage them. I personally think
that the show is on the easy side, but it's certainly
entertaining to watch.
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm - It's a Knockout! (Australia)
- Teams compete in 'Almost Anything Goes' like stunts to
advance in a tournament. The stunts are ridiculously
silly, which makes this one of my favorites.
9:00 pm - 10:00 pm - The Krypton Factor (UK) -
Long before Dick Clark hosted the U.S. show, this game,
which featured the search to find the most talented
individual in both brains and brawn, was introduced
across the pond.
10:00 pm - 11:00 pm -
Crystal Maze (UK) - A team of 6 people compete in
stunts to earn crystals, which will give them more time
in the treasure dome. Be careful - a failure to complete
a stunt will result in having a teammate locked in a
room, where they will have to buy him out with a
Late Nite (All 7 nights)
11:00 pm- 12:00 am Distraction (UK) - Jimmy
Carr's game of no pain, no gain, occupies David
Letterman's spot - because this would attract the same
sort of crowd.
12:00 am - 1:00 am -
Takeshi no Taji (Japan) - This is the original
Takeshi's Castle, but you know it better as the show
featured on Most Extreme Elimination Challenge
1:00 am - 2:00 am -
Za Gaman (Japan) - This is the original Endurance -
the big bad granddaddy of Fear Factor shows. How much
can YOU endure?
2:00 am - 2:30 am -
Banzai (UK) - Place! Bets! Now!
2:30 am - 3:00 am -
Who Dares Wins (Australia) - A good, but watered
down version of Fear Factor, which is why it's here on
3:00 am - 4:00 am -
Carnal Knowledge (UK) - You can't have late night
programming without a game show with sexual undertones -
which would explain why Graham Norton is there as the
4:00 am - 4:30 am -
Naked Elvis (UK) - This is just bizarre, but
strangely addictive. 'Elvis' is your scorekeeper, who
takes off his clothes for each answer you get right. You
win when your Elvis is naked. It had to be here just for
the plain bizarreness of it.
4:00 am - 430 am -
Blankety Blanks (UK) - It's the British version of
Match Game - but it's on late night because the
conservative crowd may have issues with the host being a
5:00 am - 6:00 am -
Psst... (Germany) - This is the German version of
I've Got a Secret. It should be used to this time slot,
as it's around when you'd see the black and white
versions of it on GSN.
6:00 am - 6:30 am - Video and Arcade Top 10 (Canada)
- This cross between Starcade, The Video Game and Nick
Arcade features kids competing against each other on
video games to win prizes.
6:30 am - 7:00 am -
Knightmare (UK) - It's Dungeons and Dragons goes
electronica - plus it's incredibly difficult to win. A
cult classic in Britain.
7:00 am - 9:00 am -
Mega Match Sensacional (Mexico) - The yellow team
goes up against the green team to try to get enough
seconds for one of their teammates to run through a
house and win a car. Strangely addicting.
9:00 am - 10:00 am -
Reach for the Top (Canada) - This is Canada's
version of the Academic Quiz Challenge. When are we
going to see these shows come back to the states?
10:00 am - 11:00 am -
Classroom Follies (South Korea) - Questions of High
School Academic Level are asked - The catch is that
everyone in the 'Class' are adult celebrities. This is a
game that't both educational and fun - especially when
the celebrities screw up the answers.
11:00 am - 12:00 pm -
Ant and Dec's Game Show Bonanza (UK) - Ant and Dec
are entertainers that frequently come up with games from
yesteryear. Though not officially on the air yet, this
show is planning on hitting the UK late this year, which
means that it's right for the schedule.
12:00 pm - 12:30 pm Hey! Spring of Trivia (Japan).
The more interesting your trivia it is, the more 'Hey!'s
you get. Hey!
12:30 pm - 1:00 pm -
QI (UK) - The show isn't about trivia - it's about
saying interesting things ABOUT the trivia and creating
a theme for it. This is much more interesting than it
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm -
Interceptor (Germany) - Two people have backpacks.
One of them contains a lot of money. They are both
placed on separate sides of a field and must reunite
within 40 minutes. They lose if the interceptor stops
them from doing so or if the interceptor, with his
laser, hits enough locks on the back pack to prevent it
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm -
El Gran Juego De La Oca (Mexico) - This is the
Mexican variant of Video Village. Spend 2 hours
traversing a game board and completing stunts to win a
wonderful vacation and have a chance to win a car.
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
All-Star Poker Challenge (UK) - You can't have a
game show channel without a poker show.
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Happy Family Plan/El Momento De Verdad (Japan/Venezuela)
- A family has a week to learn a stunt - and then will
get paid off $25,000 if they can complete it a week
later in front of a live studio audience. There's a UK
version of it too, but I only saw the Venezuela version.
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm -
Strictly Come Dancing (UK) - Wanted to know where
Dancing With the Stars came from? It came from this.
Saturday Prime Time
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm - Sabado Gigante (US for Latin
America) - How could you have a foreign game show
channel without the most classic variety game show
Sunday Prime Time
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Gladiators (UK) - We need
another show with Mike Adamle. No, I'm not talking about
Battle of the Reality Network Stars (though he has been
VERY good in that).
9:00 pm - 10:00 pm -
Big Brother (The Netherlands) - Well, the show is on
3 times a week. I can't put it on Saturday, so...
10:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Iron Chef (Japan) - First of all, I am very addicted
to this show. Second of all, if I didn't put this show
down, Chico would give me a beatdown.
Well, here's my schedule. I know there will be some
disagreement (for example, me not putting on Weakest
Link) and I welcome all e-mails. I'll be answering
e-mails in a future column.
Gordon Pepper forgot
all about "The All-American Ultra Quiz" back in 1980.
Remind him of the greatness of Rowan & Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.